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    Mystery Trackers 3: Black Isle

    genkicoll
    genkicoll

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    Mystery Trackers 3: Black Isle Empty Mystery Trackers 3: Black Isle

    Post by genkicoll on Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:50 pm

    Mystery Trackers: Black Isle
    by Elephant Games

    Series links: Mystery Trackers 1: The Void, Mystery Trackers 2: Raincliff; Mystery Trackers 3: Black Isle, Mystery Trackers 4: Four Aces, Mystery Trackers 5: Silent Hollow, Mystery Trackers 6: Raincliff's Phantoms, Mystery Trackers 7: Blackrow's Secret, Mystery Trackers 8: Nightsville HorrorMystery Trackers 9: Winterpoint Tragedy, Mystery Trackers 10: Paxton Creek Avenger, Mystery Trackers 11: Train to Hellswich, Mystery Trackers 12: Queen of Hearts, Mystery Trackers 13: Memories of Shadowfield

    Available at:
    Big Fish for PC as Collector's Edition / Standard Edition
    Steam

    Mystery Trackers 3: Black Isle Mystery-trackers-the-black-isle-ce_feature

    Investigate a supposedly abandoned island in Mystery Trackers: Black Isle! After a journalist is kidnapped after beginning an investigation, it’s up to you to learn the truth behind Black Isle. Years ago an earthquake struck leaving the island deserted. None of the buildings seem to be damaged, however, and a hooded figure seems to be stopping people from discovering the truth. Find the missing journalist and learn a sinister secret in Mystery Trackers: Black Isle!

    The Collector’s Edition includes:

    • Bonus gameplay
    • Integrated Strategy Guide
    • Wonderful Wallpapers

    For the Standard Edition:

    Mystery Trackers 3: Black Isle Screen1 Mystery Trackers 3: Black Isle Screen2
    Mystery Trackers 3: Black Isle Screen3


    Last edited by genkicoll on Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:11 am; edited 10 times in total


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    bribling

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    Post by bribling on Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:41 pm

    I am playing this now. The graphics are beautiful but do have just a bit of a fuzz to them which makes the HOS difficult. Adventure games and Adventure HOGs are getting difficult for me. I use a lot of Hints in order to find where to go next. When I finish a HOS and receive an item in inventory I usually know what to do with it. I can remember what the puzzle it belongs in looks like but I cannot for the life of me remember where that puzzle is! I use the Hint to find out. There is an SG but I have seldom used it. When I do use it, it is to try and find out where a location is. I have been playing this over several days and finished the game yesterday. Now I have the extra game to play. I don't want to wait too long because I will never know what I am doing. I do like the game but maybe I am not sharp enough to play this kind of game any more.
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    oregonpandora

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    Post by oregonpandora on Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:03 pm

    I finished the game acouple days ago and felt as you do, bribling. I ended up using the hint button to travel around or it would have taken me years to finish game. I like adventure games where yiou travel around. Getting there is half the fun. But you usually do more than one thing in an area at a time. I lost count on how many times I took that sea plane back and forth between islands. It also really threw me to not be able to finish HO scenes until I went to different locations and found needed items for said HO scene. I also only used the SG a couple times, once was that raven puzzle where you placed feathers. I had a hard time of it even with SG! LOL I did like the game but not as much as the first two. Anyhow, I don't think it was just you. Without the hiint system in this one, I wouldn't have bothered....and yet using hint constantly (even if it is just to point way) kinda defeats the purpose of the game.
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    bribling

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    Post by bribling on Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:18 pm

    I have been lucky with the HOS, I always had the items I needed in Inventory so I didn't have to come back again. Some of the minis are a little difficult. I also had trouble with the Raven feathers and finally just hit the Skip button. if a mini takes longer to play than the main game I always skip it. I'd love to be able to play the minis after I finish the game. very few games have that option. It should be an option in all the CEs and in many of the SEs as well. I have skipped many great games which just took too long to play.
    genkicoll
    genkicoll

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    Post by genkicoll on Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:50 pm

    Bribling, it sounds like you would enjoy the current Featured Game. It's an IHOG-lite with beautiful graphics, an interesting story and no need to use a million hints Smile


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    JustTheFacts
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    Post by JustTheFacts on Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:57 am

    Disappointing After Raincliff****

    BASED ON COMPLETED GAME


    FIRST IMPRESSIONS
    A big disappointment after the spectacular Raincliff, which remains one of the best games ever released, Black Isle fails to live up to the developer’s reputation. Although it has many of the great elements of the other Mystery Tracker games, it is sadly lacking in crucial areas.

    SIGHTS & SOUNDS
    By far the worst sin this game commits is in its visuals. They are just annoying. The artistic talent is there, but the technical quality is poor in parts, and many of both the locations and HOP scenes are lit in irritating ways that make it hard to see and concentrate. Also in the HOP scenes, items bleed into each other by having too much gold and/or shiny surfaces, so that again, it is hard to look at. Many are dark, static scenes, with rain further interfering with the eyes. That they can do better is obvious by the quality of the opening segments, by previous games like Raincliff, and even by certain scenes of breathtaking beauty in this. I cannot imagine a sound reason for this approach.

    The background sounds also drove me nuts in the end. There is only so much torrential downpour and thunder my nerves can take, and allowing that the game is one of the longer games I’ve played (or did it just seem that way?), it is just too much. There is little else to give us a break from it even when we are indoors. The music comes on only sporadically, but it is good and appropriately ominous. The voiceover, at the beginning, is well acted, but a far cry from being lip synched.

    WHAT’S HAPPENING?
    In what is becoming a tradition for this series, we start with a news report, and this time it is the reporter herself who is kidnapped, right before our eyes. The supposedly deserted island harbours at least one cloaked and masked phantom, and we, agent of the quasi-secret Mystery Trackers group, are in pursuit. But given the weather, and the clearly paranormal abilities of our adversary, we are in for a hard time. And prepare yourself for some interesting surprises at the end of this one. For fans of the later Mystery Tracker games, this is where we first meet Agent Elf.

    GAMEPLAY
    This is a game of evenly balanced HOPs and other puzzles/mini-games. Some of the instructions for the puzzles are vague and I found myself wishing for a strategy guide, which I’d normally never use.  And there is an adventure component that is a bit more challenging as well. The HOPs are interactive word lists, in which some items will only be made available by the use of inventory items, which is a nice twist, and one that stumped me for a bit.

    The interactive jump map is terrible. It opens on only 3 almost invisibly defined large areas, from which you must choose your location. In the locations, you get objectives yet to be completed, not where you can act next. And in any case, you must move in and out of those larger areas to get around. I found it more frustrating than simply backtracking. The hint gives specific suggestions for your next task, but does not take you there (that’s a luxury for later games), and surprisingly, I found even that annoying. Finding the room the hint function is referring to was sometimes a little crazy-making. (Poor game, couldn’t do anything right by me, could it?)

    On a personal note, I hated that the cute owls we see everywhere were only collectible in the Collector’s Edition. It drove me nuts! And some of them are so cute.

    COMBINED IMPACT
    Much of the game is very good. It is an engaging story, which flows at a reasonable pace, although I felt bogged down by the more difficult gameplay. The special effects are excellent, the acting good. The gameplay sufficiently challenging to interest expert players, without being out of bounds for lesser mortals. It is also a long complex game offering intrigue. Mostly, what it isn’t is a game that is visually all it could be. This had the makings of another Raincliff, but the devs simply didn’t pull it off.

    For my personal experience, I’d rate this a three. But for many players it will be much better than that, so I’ll give it a recommended four.

    I recommend this game!
    genkicoll
    genkicoll

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    Post by genkicoll on Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:06 am

    Mystery Trackers 3: Black Isle (IHOG)

    Abandon logic, ye who enter here.  Early on I learned that this would be a game filled with "game logic", threw up my hands and just embraced the madness.

    Usually I like clicking on the environment to see what our character's observations are, but apparently, in this game we're clairvoyant.  Clicking on an item will get you something like, "I'll need to find the missing puzzle pieces before I can open the false bottom."  The black bar hints are present even in Hardcore Mode.

    So why am I recommending this game?  Read on stalwart gamer, read on!

    Options include four sliders for sounds, a Gamma slider, Full-screen (auto-widescreen) and Custom Cursor.  Choice of three difficulties, which can be changed at any time.

    Story:

    A reporter has been abducted whilst filming on a supposedly-abandoned island.  It's up to you to find her and discover why she was taken and by whom.  There is a surprising depth to the story, so it's one of the things I really enjoyed about the game.

    We have NO Journal, so any clues that you find will remain where you find them.  The story is easy enough to track, with semi-frequent cutscenes and notes (the aforementioned clues) that we discover during our journey.

    For fans of the series, this is the installment where we first meet our adorable helper, Elf.

    Gameplay:

    Be on the lookout for OWLS as you play.  There are 50 of them hidden across the main game, and they can be found anywhere, including zoom-ins and on HOS.

    The MAP is interactive, and has an insta-transport option... Good thing, too, as there is a LOT of to-ing and fro-ing in this one!

    If you use a HINT during the adventure portion of the game, you will be told EXACTLY what you should be doing next, including the outcome of that action.  Things like, "You could use x-item to do x-thing in the lobby, and then you should find x-item hidden there." (There's that clairvoyance again!)

    The Hidden Object Scenes have a technique that I've never seen used before.  Having a separate tabs for your to-find list and your inventory is nothing new, but using an item from your inventory that you found somewhere else is entirely new to me.  Items listed in purple need some kind of interaction (or an inventory item) before you can find/collect them.

    There were a couple of really long Mini-games, but they were really interesting, so I wanted to finish them.  For the most part, the puzzles were fun to do.

    There's a great balance between adventuring and hidden objects.  HOS do not repeat, so if you're collecting owls, be sure to check scenes over carefully before finding that last item!

    Sights and Sounds:

    One of the first things I noticed about the game is that they use live actors.  The acting is surprisingly good, though I would have liked to see their images integrated into the artwork a little better.  The graphics are ovreall non-remarkable, and the HOS are your standard junkpiles.

    The music was fitting, and the storm sound effects set the tone nicely.  I would've liked to turn off the sound for the achievements, though as that SFX was really annoying!

    CE Content:

    • 50 Collectible Owls
    • Integrated Strategy Guide
    • Bonus Chapter
    • 20 In-game Achievements
    • 8 Wallpapers
    • 4 Music Tracks
    • 8 Concept Art
    • Bonus Videos

    The Bonus Videos are pretty fun to watch.  They show some short outtakes, original casting, original/test intros for the game and... Something else which made me giggle - I won't spoil it for you. ;D

    Bonus Chapter:

    The way the main game ends leaves you with closure, but also a promise of something to happen in the future.   That "something" can be found in the bonus chapter, which starts "years" later on the same island.  Something's gone wrong and your help has been urgently requested.

    The logic is even more skewed in the bonus than it was in the main game, but I can say that it was still fun, and that I liked the change to the environment/graphics.

    Verdict:

    Despite its many flaws, Black Isle is an entertaining game with some fun gameplay and interesting puzzles.  They managed to surprise me with direction the story took, which I definitely liked, and I really enjoyed the twist they added to the hidden object scenes.  Recommended to IHOG fans and to those who want to see just how crazy game logic can be.  Really, that's part of the fun! ;D


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